Beaufort News

Rewards offered for tips on arson cases

Rewards are being offered for information leading to arrests and indictments in a series of arsons at Bluffton businesses within the past week, according to a Bluffton Police Department news release Friday.

The Police Department filed arrest warrants for Joseph Samuel Clements Jr., 23, of Savannah for felony burglary, arson and theft relating to the Nov. 4 fires at Easy 2 Own Furnishings on Simmonsville Road and Top Dollar Pawn at Kitties Landing. They have no leads on his whereabouts, Capt. Brian Norberg said.

Clements also is a suspect in Thursday's arson of USA Rider Co. in the Plantation Business Park.

In all three cases, a flaming object was thrown inside the unoccupied businesses between 2 and 3 a.m. Easy 2 Own Furnishings was robbed. Nothing was stolen from the pawn shop, but a nearby business, Sebastian Multiservices at 1304 Fording Island Road, was robbed at about the same time, police say. Nothing was stolen from the motorcycle shop, police said.

Anyone with information about the arsons should call the S.C. Arson Hotline at 1-800-92-ARSON. The rewards, largely paid for by insurance companies and agents, vary based on the information and if it leads to an arrest. The past few rewards given were about $1,000, according to Russ Dubisky, executive director of SC Insurance News Service.